Getting the message across - the importance of good communications
A HMRC case study

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Page 2: Communication

Now that the Inland Revenue plays a much wider role in society it must inform major stakeholders, crucially the public, what this new role involves.

The communication process needs to define and explain:

  • WHAT the Inland Revenue wants to achieve - The Business Direction
  • WHY it exists - The Core Purpose
  • HOW it is going to do it - The Core Traits.


The Inland Revenue's Business Direction defines the overall goal of the business so that everyone (staff, customers and stakeholders) has a clear and consistent understanding of what the business is aiming to achieve:

'We aim to ensure that everyone understands and receives what they are entitled to, and understands and pays what they owe'.


At its most basic level, the Revenue's Core Purpose, or reason for being, is to ensure that 'everyone contributes to the UK's needs'.

We live in a community in which we all have responsibilities towards each other. By paying tax and receiving tax credits, child benefit (and soon child trust fund) we are able to contribute to society and to receive our entitlements.


Market research carried out by the Inland Revenue highlighted the type of service and communications that consumers expect. The Inland Revenue aims to achieve its Business Direction by being:

  • objective (decisions made on the basis of fact, not opinion)
  • knowledgeable
  • efficient
  • clear
  • human
  • reasonable.

These are the department's Core Traits which advise how staff should behave with each other and with customers in all mediums.

HMRC | Getting the message across - the importance of good communications